The Philadelphia Eagles will be playing for the NFC title against the San Francisco 49ers this weekend. In honor of that game, I decided to compare the cities of Philadelphia and San Francisco to find out which is superior. And since this is ostensibly a baseball site, many of the points of comparison will involve the cities’ baseball teams!
Many people would reflexively choose San Francisco due to its mild winters. But they conveniently ignore the cold summers. They’re called seasons, San Francisco. You should really look into having some.
Famous bridge (Golden Gate vs. Ben Franklin)
I can’t imagine getting that worked up over any bridge - except maybe the Bridge to Terebithia, because that was sad as hell - but Golden Gate is probably a little more scenic than the Ben Franklin.
Edge: San Francisco
absolutely nothing could’ve prepared me for watching bridge to terebithia at 7 years old— liv ❄️ | tlou spoilers (@grimeskywalkers) January 10, 2022
Famous landmark (Alcatraz vs. Liberty Bell)
Admittedly, Alcatraz is a lot more interesting to visit than the Liberty Bell. (Okay, it’s a big bell...With a crack in it...I guess we’re done here!) But the Liberty Bell stands for the freedom that we enjoy in America, while as a prison, Alcatraz represents the very opposite of freedom. To choose Alcatraz would be to go against America itself!
The Sixers have rounded into form and look like legitimate title contenders. San Francisco doesn’t even have a team, unless they try to claim the Golden State Warriors who play in Oakland. Besides, the Warriors aren’t even that good this year, and I was distinctly told that Steph Curry can’t shoot.
Signature food (Rice-A-Roni vs. cheesesteaks)
Rice-A-Roni is tasty enough as a side dish, but it simply doesn’t hit the same as a cheesesteak (provided of course that you avoid the tourist traps).
Rice-A-Roni is cancelled this week— Franzke & LA (@FranzkeLA) January 23, 2023
Also this mom should be arrested, serving that stuff to kids for breakfast? pic.twitter.com/aVbjfwe0YC
Baseball team manager
Both the Phillies and Giants have managers who received some criticism from Phillies fans for removing a starting pitcher from a game prematurely. But you could at least defend Rob Thomson’s removal of a well-worn Zack Wheeler to bring in the usually effective Jose Alvarado. On the other hand, it was Opening Day so Aaron Nola was nice and fresh when Gabe Kapler chose to pull him in favor of Hoby Milner.
Let this be a lesson for all potential managers out there: Never take out Aaron Nola in favor of Hoby Milner, or you will be fired— Smarty Jones: All-new 2023 edition (@TheSmartyJones) October 10, 2019
Famous Ross (Betsy vs. Cody)
Betsy Ross designed the American flag that can now be found on bumper stickers of pickup trucks all across the country. Aside from a fluky performance in the 2010 NLCS, Cody Ross had a mediocre career.
Brief aside to rant about Cody Ross and the 2010 NLCS
Since I already brought up Ross, I might as well go all in talking about the only time the Phillies and Giants met in the postseason.
There is no logical reason the Phillies should have lost to the Giants in the 2010 NLCS. There’s no way that Cody Ross - he of the career 132 home runs - should have been able to hit two homers in the same game against Roy Halladay! (Game one also featured a ninth inning strikeout by pinch-hitter Ross Gload which I distinctly remember, and probably fuels my belief that no matter what the box score says, Ross Gload never actually got a hit for the Phillies.)
The Phillies rebounded to win game two, but game three featured perhaps the absolute worst two-batter sequence in team history.
The Phillies lost that game, and then the following game because of an awful outing from Chad Durbin. But poor playoff outings were nothing out of the ordinary for Durbin. If it wasn’t for Durbin being awful in game five of the 2008 NLCS, we wouldn’t have even needed heroics from Shane Victorino and Matt Stairs.
In game six, the Phillies lost because of Chase Utley:
Gets hit in the upper back, flips Jonathan Sanchez the ball, jogs to first, Sanchez is throwing a tantrum at him, and Utley could care less.— Philly Nation (@Philly__Nation) July 25, 2018
To quote Stuart Scott, Chase Utley is as cool as the other side of the pillow. pic.twitter.com/4DDn7oQ5eo
Sanchez was unraveling in that game, and I fully believe that the Phillies were about to have a monster inning when that incident ocurred. But Utley rattled him so badly that the Giants were forced to take him out of the game. (Just wait until next year when I write why Chase Utley shouldn’t be a Hall of Famer!) The Phillies didn’t score against the Giants bullpen the remainder of the game and lost the game and the series.
Ross didn’t actually do that much over the final three games of the series (3-11 with one RBI) and the real MVP of the series was the Giants’ bullpen. But they can all screw off forever, especially Aubrey Huff.
Phillies vs. Giants head-to-head record
The postseason matchup between the Phillies and Giants didn’t go so well, and things haven’t usually worked out much better in the regular season. The Phillies’ all-time record against the Giants is an unspectacular 947-1283. With the teams playing seven games against each other each season, the Phillies would have to sweep the next 48 years in order to even up the record.
Edge: San Francisco
Ability to luck into a World Series title
As alluded to earlier, the 2010 Giants weren’t the best team in the National League, let alone all of baseball. But somehow, they won the World Series. The 2012 Giants tied for the fourth most wins across baseball, but that didn’t prevent them from winning the title yet again. And in 2014, they didn’t even win the National League West, but still found a way to win four World Series games.
The 2022 Phillies came close, but their run of good luck came up two games short.
Edge: San Francisco
No hitters thrown against the opponent in the last century
The Phillies have had two different pitchers throw no-hitters against the San Francisco Giants: Terry Mulholland in 1990 and Kevin Milwood in 2003. The Giants have had three pitchers throw no-hitters against the Phillies, but the most recent came in 1922, and nobody really gives a crap about stuff that happened over 100 years ago.
Most prolific power hitter (Mike Schmidt vs. Barry Bonds)
Mike Schmidt is typically regarded as the best third baseman of all-time, and was probably the best player of the 80’s. He would probably be held in even higher esteem had he played in a decade where the ball wasn’t dead and stadiums weren’t cavernous. Schmidt was deservedly elected to the Hall of Fame in 1995, while Barry Bonds likely will never see enshrinement in Cooperstown. Say what you will about home run records, but Hall of Fame > not in the Hall of Fame.
By a score of 8-3, Philadelphia emerges as the superior city! (As if there was any doubt) Does that superiority mean that the Eagles will defeat the 49ers this weekend? It would be foolish to assume otherwise.